The efforts of home care providers in protecting vulnerable people have been “overlooked” during the COVID-19 pandemic, a top inspector at the Care Quality Commission has said.
Speaking during the Care Virtual Summit last week, Deanna Westwood, head of inspection for Adult Social Care in the central region, said that while there has been a lot of focus on care homes, the work that domiciliary care providers are doing to fight the virus on the frontline “must also be acknowledged”.
“I think we need to remember that a vast amount of hospital discharges go to home care providers, and they need to get their voices heard,” she said.
When asked by HCI about her thoughts on the frequently changing guidance for home care during the pandemic, she said this ought to be a factor in a “national inquiry”.
“The feedback has been loud and clear – it was confusing and it changed regularly,” she said.
Westwood also urged home care providers to share data on the impact of COVID-19 on their services in order to drive improvement.
The ‘Update CQC on the impact of Covid’ online form, was rolled out to providers in April.
“There’s been a real national interest in what the data can tell us and how that can be used to drive improvement and drive government thinking,” said Westwood.
“So I would plead with people to please complete that data because it’s really proving invaluable in terms of our national discussions about where we are going with our direction, as well as providing local support to local providers.”
Also during the summit, Westwood said the CQC is developing its five-year strategy for 2021-2026 and will be consulting on this “hopefully in the next few weeks”.
“I would really encourage providers to have their say on that,” she said.